William Barnes

William Barnes class is our class for children in years 3 and 4. Their teacher is Mrs Karen Taylor.

William Barnes Class had a super start to the new school year with our wonderful whale theme in English and Art. In English we shared two fantastic books by Simon James about beautiful blue whales…My Friend Whale and Dear Greenpeace. The children explored the amazing features of these awesome creatures including their size and their senses. We drew a full scale blue whale on the playground, investigated synonyms for’big’, wrote poems about whales, gathered blue whale facts, created our own information books about blue whales as well as writing to Greenpeace for further information. The children were so passionate about protecting these ocean giants that we visited the local park to conduct a litter pick to prevent harmful plastic entering the sea and held a card sale to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace to help them continue to protect ocean life.

In Science we had a great time investigating Forces and Magnets. The children created their own magnets, explored what happens when you break a magnet, tested magnets through different materials including water and compared the strength of different magnets in fair tests. We also explored Rocks and Soils. The children loved handling and observing rocks and drew some wonderful observational drawings. The children enjoyed conducting scratch tests to discover which was the hardest rock – slate, flint or granite and used their observation and questioning skills to compare different soils. The children loved learning about the importance of the soil and ways to protect it and it we had a very exciting worm hunt in the outside area and enjoyed building a class wormery.

We have been busy in Art and DT too. The children spent the first half term learning water colour painting skills in Art including flat washes, receding washes, wet into wet and how to use wax resist. Inspired by the beautifully illustrated whale stories by Simon James the children created their own water colour seascapes and were really proud when their families came in to enjoy their sketchbooks in our open afternoon. Before Christmas the children were busy learning how to create and evaluate packaging for Christmas cookies in our Banish Broken Biscuits topic in DT. We especially enjoyed posting ourselves biscuits in different packages to test their effectiveness. The children considered the importance of the role of packaging in protecting, containing, presenting and preserving the biscuits and learnt to make nets with tabs and apertures and use graphics to make their boxes more appealing. The end results were great.

We had a wonderful history topic this term – The Iron Age. The children loved exploring Iron Age artefacts, homes and Celtic life and a highlight was definitely our trip up local Iron Age Hill Fort – Pilsdon Pen. The children loved looking out across the beautiful Dorset landscape from such a high vantage point and imagining what it might have been like some 2000 years before. We were lucky to be accompanied by experts from Beaminster Museum who shared with us the possible position of the entrance to the fort and Iron Age methods of defence. Later we hopped back on the bus for a series of exciting workshops at Beaminster Museum. By contrast, in Geography we have been learning all about Florida in our Beyond the Magic Kingdom topic. The children used maps to locate Florida and identify some of its features. We considered the appeal of Disneyland and collaborated to plan a day trip there. We considered the wider appeal of Florida to visitors and learnt about the importance of Florida for many endangered sea turtles. The children really enjoyed learning about the life cycle of turtles and measures to protect them and designed their own ‘bumper stickers’ to educate people about sea turtles and encourage others to protect them. The children chose to use their card sale fundraising money to adopt a sea turtle via the World Wildlife Fund.

Well done William Barnes Class for all this super learning. The children have worked with such interest and enthusiasm in maths, reading and spelling too and been extra skillful in PE, exploring fitness and yoga and found the time to enjoy being dancing mice, narrators, shiny stars and the village band in the Christmas play. A super term.

We visited Parnham House and walked with donkeys on 6th July. We had a lovely day. Here are some of our photos at Parnham: